Officials from “list of personae non gratae” do not hurry to visit Europe

More than a month has passed since most Belarusian officials were allowed to enter EU member states. However, ERB has found out that officials from “the list of personae non gratae” do not hurry to use this opportunity to travel across Europe.
The head of the administration of civil associations of the Ministry of Justice Aleh Slizheuski confessed to ERB that the banishment had not been an obstacle for visiting Europe on business. That is why he does not hurry to visit Europe now when the ban is officially lifted.

Aleh Slіzheuskі: “I did not have any problems when the list existed. I visited Europe in that period for different reasons including business. However, I have not been there since the ban was lifted. I may do it later but I am not planning it now”.

A former senator of the Council of the Republic Mikalai Charhinets has also traveled around the world despite of the banishment. He was not even sure how many times he visited Paris not long before – 10 or 15. He is why he is not going to spend his vacations there any time soon.

Mіkalai Charhіnets: “I go to Europe when I need it. They introduce such lists but we work with them when they cannot do without us! Oh, my! I have been to all countries. I visited Paris 10 or 15 times last year. So I am not interested in spending my vacations there”.

A former deputy of the House of Representatives Syarhei Kastsyan had confessed to ERB that he would like to visit Prague and Serbia before “the European list” was cancelled. However, he has not used the opportunity to make his dream come true yet: he is waiting for the opportunity to visit the countries together with official delegations. He says he is jobless and has started collecting documents needed for his pension recently so he lacks money.

Syarhei Kastsyan: “A meeting of the international Slavonic committee will be organized in Prague in February and they are eager to see me there. I also hope that I will be able to attend it. And Serbs, a radical party, have also invited me. They participate in the work of the Slavonic parliamentary union and I am its chairperson. So they have invited me to visit Serbia as the head of this union”.

The secretary of the Central Election Commission Mikalai Lazavik “has not rushed” abroad either.

Mіkalai Lazavіk: “I have not rushed abroad although the restrictions are cancelled. I had not made such trips to Europe before the banishment was introduced and I had never wanted to. And I still do not want to go there. I do not need it so I have not visited Europe yet. Moreover, I am planning to visit the South East instead of the West. Elections in Turkmenistan will be held in December. If circumstances are favourable, I would like to take part in the elections in Turkmenistan as an observer”.

The CEC secretary confessed to ERB that if the head of the Central Election Commission Lidziya Yarmoshyna had wanted to visit Europe, she would have done it despite all restrictions just like Charhinets and Slizheuski.

Mіkalai Lazavіk: “The state organizing an international event must give visas to the people invited to the event by international organizations. If Lazavik or Yarmoshyna had decided to attend some international event they were personally invited to, they would have been able to do it. But why should we do it when we are not wanted there? That was our position”.

Few Belarusian officials are remaining on the list of personae non gratae – the Minster of Internal Affaires Uladzimir Navumau, Dzmitry Paulichneka and Yury Padabed are among them. However, it turns out that they only need an invitation of some international organization to avoid the restriction. For example, it may be the international union of special police troops.